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Why Lady Gaga drops the mic; she commits to ‘new show’

Updated July 6, 2024 - 10:55 am

In her Strip residency, Lady Gaga has performed “Fly Me to The Moon” at Dolby Live as a tribute to Tony Bennett.

“No matter what kind of music I’m singing, I think about Tony,” Gaga says to the audience. “It’s kind of impossible not to spend the whole evening thinking about what he would have said, what he would have thought, how he would have done it.”

The “Jazz + Piano” star then takes on the classic number, singing a cappella in one stretch, no microphone, her voice carrying across the theater.

“Gaga” has performed the song every show through 47 dates, the finale — No. 48 — is scheduled for Saturday night. During the final bow, “When we come back, we hope you’ll come back. We’ll have a whole new show for you.”

Similar to so many numbers in “Jazz + Piano,” “Fly Me to The Moon” is steeped in Vegas’ golden era of star-quality entertainment. This week we learned of its inspiration. We can thank an esteemed trombonist for the history lesson.

Curt Miller backed Bennett at Desert Inn’s Crystal Showroom, premiering in late-1978. The late Torrie Zito (who arranged the strings on John Lennon’s “Imagine” album) was the conductor. Tenor sax great Harold Lane toured with Bennett in those days.

Bennett would sing “Fly Me to The Moon” near the end of the performance. He instructed the sound man to cut the audio, then set the mic on the stage. He then belted the song, filling the 600-capacity venue with his operatic-powered voice.

“The whole band had tears running down their faces,” says Miller, who performed more than 100 shows with Bennett. “We were desperately trying to wipe our faces without being obvious. One of those rare, magical moments.”

It’s not left to the past, either, for those lucky enough to have experienced “Jazz + Piano.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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